If you’d like to see a fire ceremony, make a wish at the dragon fountain, and say a prayer in the hall of the glow-in-the-dark saints, this is the temple for you!
Fire ceremonies are held five times daily (at 9:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00 and 17:00). Let’s take off our shoes (we can carry them in one of the plastic bags provided), then sneak into the side gallery and watch from the back, where we can look down on the altar area. The ceremony takes 30-60 minutes, and is filled with taiko drumming, chanting, the blowing of conch shells and the tossing of wooden prayer sticks into a bonfire that blazes up quite spectacularly in front of the altar.
Note: It’s strictly forbidden to take photos and videos during the ceremonies, because they are actual religious services. I know it’s tempting, but please don’t be That Tourist. (The photos I’ve included here are icky and fuzzy because I got them from the temple’s website.)
Afterwards, let’s go into the big modern cube next door, the one with the Fudo sutra written all over the outside in giant Sanskrit characters.
Back outside, let’s not leave before we make a wish at the dragon fountain!
While you’re in Japan, read a novel set in Tokyo!
“A genuinely gripping crime thriller which wrong-foots and perplexes the reader throughout, drawing us in emotionally . . . Highly recommended.”